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Dover Schools To Hold Community Forum On Racism After 'KKK Jingle' Video

Dover School District

Dover residents can delve into their experiences with racism and stereotypes at a forum at the city's high school tonight.

The district organized the discussion in the wake of an uproar over a video posted late last year, showing an incident of what the district called "extreme racial insensitivity.”  

The video was filmed by a student, showing her high school classmates singing racist lyrics about the Ku Klux Klan and killing African-Americans to the tune of Jingle Bells.

The students wrote the song as part of a class assignment. Their teacher who gave it, John Carver, was present during the song and is now on paid administrative leave.

The district's school board took more than two hours of testimony about the incident and the investigation into Carver at a meeting last month.

They had reportedly hoped to make any decisions about Carver’s status before tonight's forum, but Superintendent William Harbron says “the discussion will not center on John Carver.”

Harbron provided an agenda for the event, which shows attendees will consider their own experiences with racism and prejudice and discuss takeaways for the community – working alone, in pairs and small groups, with facilitators.

“Racism is more than one incident or a single person’s actions,” the agenda reads. “This conversation is about creating a community where all of us can thrive.”

The district’s website bills the forum as "an evening of learning and reflection" on race and stereotypes.

It starts at 6 p.m. in the Dover High School cafeteria. The district says snacks and childcare will be provided.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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